Lippman On Women and Ambition – This is a relatively short but powerful talk by Laura Lippman, and while she identifies herself explicitly as a crime writer, she’s speaking, in a sense, for all women writers, and certainly for all women writers of genre fiction. She embraces the concept of ambition, noting that hers has been to “write a cultural history of women in my lifetime,” and to accept the complex situation that women face when it comes to being okay with who we are and what we want. In talking about her own books, she expands on her own goal to be a cultural historian of women contemporary to her:
To say this is to be grandiose, hubristic. Well, why not? Going back ten years ago, when I wrote a novel called Every Secret Thing, I confronted the fact that I couldn’t write better novels about men than my friends – Dennis Lehane, George Pelecanos. But I could write better novels about women. At the time, I liked to joke that Every Secret Thing was the darkest, most hardboiled novel to begin with an anecdote about a Barbie doll. I said it might read like a literary novel – if literary novelists ever learned to plot. Joking, yet not. For there was some disdain about plot in certain literary circles, although I think that has fallen by the wayside. In part, because genre writers – all genre writers – have been flanking them. –EarlyWord
Apple Wants to Move E-book Damages Trial – What a surprise. Not. Apple wants to move the state and class action damages trial from the Southern District of New York (which has not been friendly to Apple) to the Northern District of California and the Western District of Texas. The company notes that the first class action lawsuit was filed in Northern California and that the states’ action is based in Texas. I don’t know about the Western District of Texas court, but I can certainly see the logic in Apple arguing for Northern California, which is where the company is based, ostensibly giving them a home venue advantage. Assuming that there is no change in venue, the damages trial will begin in May 2014.
The filing acknowledges that Apple’s remaining motion to dismiss the class action case against it, as well as the plaintiff’s motion for class certification (which Apple has opposed) are still pending before Judge Cote. But after Judge Cote issues rulings on those motions, Apple argues, any case going forward to trial should be remanded to courts in Northern California and Texas before April 11, 2014, when the parties are scheduled to submit joint pretrial orders, as required by this Court’s trial procedures. –Publishers Wekly
The VIDA Count 2013 Lie by Omission: The Rallying Few, The Rallying Masses – This is kind of a good news – bad news report for gender equity in reviewing. Part of the good news is that The Paris Review, which was one of the most male dominated publications around, has become much more equitable, with no attendant complaints about diminished quality. The New York Times Book Review also added a number of female reviewers. As for the bad news, the charts still show that things pretty much suck for women when it comes to overall equity. “Paradigm shift” is the key phrase for VIDA this year:
We know these publishing practices won’t die off by accident or with the simple passage of time, if we just accept them on their terms, remain silent and hope. While meritocracy is ideal, it is naïve to accept the publishing industry on the premise that editors simply select the “best” writing from all that is submitted, especially when many of the major publications consult their Rolodexes and solicit most of their work. Editors and publishers alike have vested interests in the work they perpetuate, especially where a dollar is turned. Their values may be, shall we say, often strongly influenced by the demographic who can buy them. VIDA has felt the resistance to those dollars when we’ve served up our pies. –VIDA
When Books Embody Books – Another seriously cool collection of book art, this time by Terry Border, who describes himself as a ‘Humorist, Photographer and Earthling.’ The designs are pretty simple, but they’re definitely clever and humorous. And even as I winced at the Taming of the Shrew design, I did it chuckling. His website has some pretty amusing pieces, as well. –Wigan Lane Books
isn't sure if she's an average Romance reader, or even an average reader, but a reader she is, enjoying everything from literary fiction to philosophy to history to poetry. Historical Romance was her first love within the genre, but she's fickle and easily seduced by the promise of a good read. She approaches every book with the same hope: that she will be filled from the inside out with something awesome that she didnÊ¼t know, didnÊ¼t think about, or didnÊ¼t feel until that moment. And she's always looking for the next mind-blowing read, so feel free to share any suggestions!